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What to see in Marrakech

What to See in Marrakech

What to See in Marrakech

Visiting Marrakech is a deep kick to all the senses. Going through it on foot is the best way to let yourself be carried away by its streets and its people, being a very good practice to wander through the less touristy areas of the Medina. In this post about what to see in Marrakech in one day, we will tell you everything we had time to visit, as well as offer you alternative places to visit to complete your getaway if you have more days.
Something very important is to check the opening hours and days of each of the places to visit. You will see that many sites do not have an official website and therefore it can be difficult to establish their schedule correctly. During our getaway, we realized that the prices of all the important tourist spots to see in Marrakech had inflated their prices a lot recently, with very significant increases. Therefore, it is usual to pay between 50-70 MAD for each ticket. We begin to tell you which places to visit from now on.
To find out more about practical information, advice, or our complete itinerary, we link you to our travel guide in Marrakech. We start with the places to see in Marrakech in one day!

What to see in Marrakech

Essential places to see in Marrakech in one day

The main points of the historic center, a global brushstroke of what the city is, can be fully visited in just one day. In our case, during the full day in Marrakech, we started in the morning by visiting the Musée de Marrakech and the Maison de la Photographie, very close to each other.
Another nearby point such as the Ben Youssef Madrasa was closed for renovations during our getaway. We continue towards the south of the Medina entering the souks until we reach Jemaa el Fna. Later, we continue further south and visit the Bahia Palace and the Saadian Tombs.
We returned to the center, walking around the periphery of the wall through the gardens that surround the Koutoubia Mosque, which we saw up close. We end the day watching the sunset from one of the terraces around the perimeter of Jemaa el Fna. All these visits are totally recommended to do with children. We tell you one by one!

1 – House of Photography

This Moroccan house-turned-gallery displays Moroccan photographs from bygone eras. In the Maison de la Phographie you can find period portraits, photographs of Morocco from the late 19th century, or everyday prints from the 20th century. The price was 50 MAD/person, and the same guy who charged us gave us an introduction to the museum. Also, note that they have a bar on the upper terrace with great views of the city. You have the opening hours and days on their official website.

2 – Musée de Marrakech, an essential site to see in Marrakech in one day

The interior patio of the Musée de Marrakech  is one of the most beautiful things we saw, a real treat for photography lovers. This place is known as Mnebhi Palace because it was the home of this man, Minister of Defense, during the beginning of the last century.
Since 1997, the Palace has served as an architectural museum of the period and its collections include samples of ceramics from Fes from the 19th century. We pay 50 MAD person to enter. Unfortunately, it does not have an official website, and its opening hours are from 9 am. to 6 pm. from October to March and from 9 am. to 7 pm. from April to September, just as our purchase tickets collected.

3 – Ben Youssef Madrasa

The Ben Youssef Madrasa  is a living example of Islamic art, being a practically unique place in Morocco and one of the must to visit. The name of Madrasa or medersa refers to the use as a school of theology that the building had for more than 4 centuries. Unfortunately, during our getaway to Marrakech it was closed, although in principle from the first months of 2020 it should be operational again.
It also does not have an official website, generally opening every day of the week from 9 am. to 6 pm. in winter and from 9 am. to 7 pm. in summer.

4 – The souks. the art of haggling

Exploring the souks and playing the ancient art of haggling is another of the strong points to see in Marrakech on a day trip. It is impossible to leave the city without having bought something. What are souks? Nothing less than a huge conglomerate of small shops located on the sides of many of the streets to the north of the Jemaa el Fna square .
In the central hours of the day the streets, with their characteristic palm tree roofs, are crowded. In our opinion, it is best to let yourself be carried away by the streets, passing through Rahba Lakdima , also known as the  Plaza de las Especias . On the map that we leave you above you can see an area rounded in yellow that alludes to the main area where the souks are located.

5 – Jamaa el Fna. The heart of Marrakech

If there is a place where everything you could imagine about Marrakech and more comes together, that is the Djemaa el Fna square, the central point of the Medina. A spectacle in itself, with street artists, snake charmers, a multitude of food stalls, and traffic without any rules.
A square that transforms as the day goes by, from a morning calm to a real party at night. Of course, even if you see animals like monkeys and they offer you photos with them, please dismiss it, it is a practice that is far removed from responsible tourism, no matter how exotic it may seem to us.

The best thing you can do is show up in the square a while before sunset and take a seat on the terrace of one of the bars around the perimeter. From there it is a real luxury to see the life that happens below and how the sun goes down, with the tower of the Koutoubia Mosque in the background. An unbeatable sunset. We chose the terrace of Café Glacier, with fantastic views of the southern part of the square.

6 – Bahia Palace, other essential places to see in Marrakech in one day

The immense Bahia Palace is one of the most visited places in Marrakech, with many groups of tourists at the central hours of the day. It was home to viziers during the late 19th century and early 20th century. Without a doubt, if we had to choose a place among all the places to see in Marrakech, it would be this one.
The marquetry of its corners, with impressive ceilings, and its interior patios shine by themselves. Another marvel for photography lovers. We paid a price of 70 MAD/person to enter, much more than what we had seen paid until not very recently. It opens every day of the week at 9 am and closes around 5-6 pm. depending on the season.

7 – Saadian Tombs

If we had to choose a place to rest forever, this mausoleum would be one of our first options. The Saadian Tombs are the resting place of Sultan Al-Mansur, who died in 1603. The room of the twelve pillars, where the sultan and his two sons rest, is brutal, and can only be seen from outside. A queue forms and there is very little entry, so there is not much time to enjoy, the bad part of the visit.
The entrance price, a bit excessive, is 70 MAD. It also does not have an official website, with opening hours from 9 am. to 5 pm. every day of the week.

8 – Koutoubia Mosque. An unmistakable minaret

The Koutoubia Mosque is the most important religious temple in Marrakech. Its minaret, from the 12th century, is visible from any corner of it, being spectacular. This tower was even used to prototype the Giralda in Seville, which is why you will surely find a more than a reasonable resemblance to it.
Fortunately or unfortunately, access to the interior is prohibited for non-Muslims. It is well worth going to its surroundings and enjoying the gardens, with their characteristic palm trees.

Alternative places to see in Marrakech on more days

In addition to everything commented above, you have many more options to visit in Marrakech if you have more days or want to organize yourself in another way. Leaving the Medina and seeing the other side of the city, the most modern is one of the essential plans.

Other places to see in the Medina

Within the Medina, the other great point to visit would be Dar Si Said, a 19th-century mansion in which the brother of the vizier Bou Ahmed, creator of the Bahia Palace, lived. It could be said that it is a small copy of the first one on a smaller scale, although of course with its own charm. Similarly, if you decide to explore the less touristy area of ​​the Medina, the most residential, just go to the west of it, to the area of ​​Muasine and Bab Doukkala.

South of the Medina: Badi Palace, another tourist place to see in Marrakech

Leaving the Medina to the south, very close to the Saadian Tombs, is the Badi Palace, or rather, the ruins that remain standing. This 16th-century palace was a splurge of luxury in its day, with gold-plated walls and floors. Unfortunately, this symbol of power did not even have a century of life, being destroyed and dismantled, leaving today more than a poor sample of what it came to be.

Leaving the Medina: The palm grove of Marrakech

Near Marrakech, located northeast of the Medina, the Palmeral de Marrakech offers a paradise of palm trees and therefore fresh air outside its labyrinthine streets. In its surroundings, you can find large resorts with swimming pools or vacation homes. In the palm grove itself, it is possible to carry out all kinds of activities, one of the most famous being the Quad tour.

In the same way, as we told you in the post about everything you need to know to visit Marrakech, you have more options for day trips to other more remote points, such as the coastal city of Essaouira.

Leaving the Medina: Ville Nouvelle

It goes without saying that Marrakech is not only its historic center, beyond the Medina there are newer areas where cafes, gourmet restaurants, shopping in international chains, or art galleries have a place. In Ville Nouvelle, to the west of the Medina, there are two distinct areas. The first is Gueliz, the most visited neighborhood, the hub of shopping. For its part, Hivernage offers an upper-class neighborhood with gardens and art deco architecture.
Of all these areas, the most acclaimed and well-known visit is the Jardin Majorelle, a gift from Yves Saint Laurent to the city of Marrakech at the end of the last century. In this you can find more than 300 plant species from all over the world, making it an experience to walk through the gardens. With a little more time it would have been a must for us. On its official website, you can find everything it offers as well as schedules and prices, and it is even possible to buy tickets online.

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